May 21, 2020

Choosing a life insurance company can be overwhelming. We created this tool to help shoppers quickly find the best life insurance companies for their specific needs. Quickly compare the best companies based on life insurance rates, financial strength, types of life insurance offered, and more.

We work with some of the companies on this page, and receive a commission if you decide to apply through us. We also include companies that we have no affiliation with whatsoever. Our goal is to provide shoppers with a complete list of the top rated life insurance companies, not just the ones we work with.

Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    2-4 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    145 Years

About Prudential

If money is any indication of the strength of an insurance company, and it should be, Prudential is the winner by far. Prudential holds the second highest financial rating (A+) of any life insurance company in the country. Prudential remains one of the most competitively priced term life insurance products on the market. That’s because they are also one of the oldest and most experienced insurance companies still in business today. Founded in 1875 by John Dryden, Prudential has been underwriting risk for more than 145 years. Prudential offers unmatched pricing for tobacco users.

COVID-19 Update: Prudential is temporarily suspending applications for those over the age of 71. For applicants under the age of 60, Prudential has increased the amount of coverage available without an exam to $3,000,000. Prudential’s platform is “end to end” meaning the entire process is digitized from application to e-delivery. Prudential has a dedicated COVID-19 number (800-556-8527) for current customers who need to extend billing time frames.

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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A++
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A
  • Company Age
    169 Years

About Mass Mutual

Mass Mutual is one of the “big four” when it comes to life insurance. They have outstanding financial ratings.The highly rated competitors of Mass Mutual are Northwestern, Guardian, and New York Life. These companies stand apart from the rest when it comes to financial stability and outlook. While each of these mutual based companies has unmatched whole life insurance offerings, only one has a competitive term life insurance product, Mass Mutual. If you want to buy a competitively priced term life insurance policy from one of the highest rated and most reputable insurance companies in the world, try Mass Mutual owned Haven Life. Haven is a digital term life insurance offering backed and wholly owned by Mass Mutual. Applicants under age 65 can apply from the convenience of their own home.

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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    111 Years

About Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 company based in Omaha, Nebraska. They began selling insurance in 1909, making them over 100 years old. Mutual of Omaha offers a wide array of life insurance products. They offer term, whole, universal, and long term care products. They even produced a popular television show in 1963 called “Wild Kingdom.”

Mutual of Omaha is financially stable and offers some of the most competitive pricing available. They have over eight billion dollars in assets with a three-billion-dollar surplus. They hold ratings from AM Best (A+ Superior), Moody's (A1 Good), and S&P (AA- Very Strong). See our full Mutual of Omaha review.

COVID-19 Update: Mutual of Omaha has increased their accelerated underwriting program to include coverage of $100,000-$2,000,000 for those between the ages of 18-55. A statement of good health is required in order to obtain coverage. As of April 15th, 2020, Mutual of Omaha is postponing all cases for applicants who plan to travel internationally in 2020. Fully underwritten applications are postponed for individuals over the age of 70 and for individuals between age 60-69 who are in the Table 2 rate class.

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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    2-4 Weeks
  • Company Size
    5001-10000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    71 Years

About Banner

Legal and General America has one of the most competitively-priced term life insurance products in the market. In fact, if price is high on your priority list, we'll save you some time and send you straight to Legal and General. LGA is also known as Banner Life. Banner's superior financial strength combined with the industry's lowest rates for term life insurance, gives them a considerable advantage in the term life insurance market. Read our detailed review of Banner.

COVID-19 Update: Banner life insurance has introduced temporary underwriting guidelines in response to COVID-19. Banner will be using additional methods to automate their underwriting process beginning April 8, 2020. Those over the age of 65 will be required to have seen their physician within the last 6 months and will be eligible for coverage up to $500,000.

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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A-
  • Company Age
    101 Years

About AIG

AIG offers life insurance products through independent life insurance agents. Whether you contact them directly through their contact center, AIG Direct, or through an independent agent representing the company, AIG provides an apples to apples comparison of options. Many companies avoid showing other companies’ rates and policy features; however, AIG gets a thumbs up for allowing their agents to operate independently. AIG is the best life insurance company for those with pre-existing conditions. Read our full AIG review.

COVID-19 Update: AIG requires any person who has been exposed to COVID-19 to disclose this information in a statement of good health. This statement is required prior to any life insurance policy being put in force. For applicants who have been exposed to COVID-19, underwriting will be postponed for 30 days.

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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term
  • Financial Strength
    A++
  • Underwriting Time
    Instant
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    6 Years

About Haven Life

If you are a young and savvy shopper looking for life insurance from a company that has the strongest financial ratings in the industry, Haven is it. Backed by MassMutual, Haven offers life insurance completely online and focuses their efforts on using data rather than medical exams to underwrite life insurance policies. Haven is the only A.M. Best A++ rated company offering life insurance with an instant decision at this time. You don’t have to be a millennial to enjoy the convenience of Haven. They offer life insurance policies online for people between the ages of 18 and 65 with coverage up to $3,000,000. If you are looking for an easy way to buy term life insurance and demand a life insurance company with the best financials, Haven is the only option. While MassMutual is well known for permanent products, Haven only offers term life insurance products at this time.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Haven Life Insurance has rolled out several initiatives that will increase your chance of getting coverage instantly, without needing a medical exam. They are now accessing past medical exam data, using different data sources to confirm medical information, and made changes to their Lifetouch underwriting system that will now trigger a manual underwriting review for instant approval in cases where a medical exam would have been required.

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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A++
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    B-
  • Company Age
    98 Years

About USAA

How good is USAA life insurance? If it wasn’t for their limited availability, they would be at the top of our list. USAA is only available to service members and their families. In short, you need to be an immediate family member of a USAA member, or a member of the military yourself, in order to join. My grandparents both served in the air force and joined USAA. This opened the door for my parents to become members and pass along membership rights to me. The reason I buy my insurance from USAA is because of personal experience with them. They pay out claims quickly. Aside from that, USAA holds the highest financial rating (AA+) given by A.M. Best. If you are eligible for coverage with USAA, don’t overlook them as an option. Their rates for term life insurance are highly competitive. Read more in our full USAA review.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A++
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    5001-10000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age
    161 Years

About Northwestern Mutual

If your plan is to sit down with an insurance agent, participate in an in-depth fact finding process, and chart a long-term financial plan, Northwestern Mutual is your best option. Year after year Northwestern Mutual earns the highest financial ratings from A.M. Best, S&P, and Moody’s. If Northwestern Mutual is already on your radar, the product you’re seeking is most likely a cash value whole life insurance policy. This is an area where they crush the competition. Their term life insurance is not competitively priced. As a 10-year industry veteran, I started my career at Northwestern Mutual. This company’s only drawback is that they only give quotes on their own products, as opposed to a broker who will provide multiple quotes from a variety of agencies. Northwestern is, however, undoubtedly the best life insurance company for cash value life insurance. To locate a northwestern mutual agent visit https://www.northwesternmutual.com/financial-professionals/.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    113 Years

About Protective

Protective offers the fastest turnaround time for life insurance policies that do require a medical exam. Typically, you can finish the entire process within three weeks, that is unless you qualify for their accelerated underwriting program. If that's the case, your policy will be approved immediately. Why would anyone take an exam when not every company requires it? Because Protective makes it worth your while by providing the most competitive rates in exchange for a medical exam. See our full review of Protective.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    24-48 Hours
  • Company Size
    5001-10000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age

About Lincoln Financial

Lincoln Financial Group is a 115-year-old life insurance provider based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Lincoln has announced new technology in their TermAccel program allowing users to buy a life insurance policy up to $1,000,000 in coverage, up to age 60, and have it get issued in as little as 2 days. Lincoln has the second-highest financial rating and operates through its independent agent channel.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    Instant
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    66 Years

About Sagicor

Sagicor is the most popular provider of no exam life insurance in the country. Sagicor’s term policy offers up to $1,000,000 of coverage for those up to age 65, which is more than any other company offers. The most unique characteristic about their policies is that they leverage technology to reach an immediate decision on applications. For example, they access medical records through the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), where they can view records from your last doctor’s visit in lieu of an exam.

Never heard of Sagicor? They entered the US Market in the mid 2000s but have been in business worldwide for more than 175 years. Their A- Excellent rating from A.M. Best is the fourth highest financial rating given by A.M. Best. Consumers can buy from one of Sagicor’s independent life insurance agents or buy directly from Sagicor. Learn more about Sagicor in this review.

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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A++
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    175 Years

About New York Life

New York Life was established in 1845 and is currently the third largest insurance provider in the country. Its strong ratings and products make New York Life a top life insurance company. They are a mutual life insurance company, paying over $10 billion in dividends out in 2017. They have a very large surplus of $24 billion, which is much larger than most life insurance companies. In addition to this, New York Life has over $1 trillion of individual life insurance in force, and over $572 billion of assets under management.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    134 Years

About North American

North American is a subsidiary of Sammons Financial Group. Sammons is a privately-owned company that functions as an ESOP, meaning they are employee owned. The benefits of buying life insurance from North American, or their sister company Midland National, is in their competitively-priced products coupled with a lenient underwriting standard. In other words, you don't have to be an Olympic swimmer to get affordable term or universal coverage through North American. See our full review of North American for more.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    5001-10000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
  • Company Age

About Minnesota Life

Minnesota Life is a subsidiary of Securian Financial which was founded in 1880 and currently holds a superior financial rating. Here at NoExam, we offer permanent products through Minnesota life available for institutional or business to business purposes. Read our full review of Minnesota Life.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A-
  • Company Age

About Pacific Life

Pacific life is the best term life insurance for seniors. They have options for people in their 50s and 60s seeking term life insurance. Pacific will offer up to $1,000,000 of term life insurance coverage without a medical exam required. You can pick up the phone, call a Pacific Life licensed agent, and apply for your policy right over the phone. What’s the catch with Pacific Life? You will need to have seen a doctor or physician in the last 18 months. Pac Life will use the information from your application and most recent checkup to determine eligibility. Pacific Life is a mutual-based company that has an A+ financial rating. Founded in 1868 by Leland Stanford, a former governor of California and founder of Stanford University, Pacific Life is known for high-quality, inexpensive term life insurance.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    2-4 Weeks
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age

About John Hancock

John Hancock was founded in 1862 and is currently headquartered in Boston, MA. Hancock offers term and universal life insurance products. Hancock created ExpressTrack, which automates their underwriting process, allowing consumers to receive a decision on their application within three days. Enjoy peace of mind knowing John Hancock currently pays out over 5 billion dollars each year in claims and holds the second-highest financial rating.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A++
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A-
  • Company Age
    98 Years

About State Farm

State Farm was founded in 1929 and is known for being very financially stable. They offer term and whole life policies (including survivorship), and they are known for their great customer service. Their products are sold by their captive agents, meaning independent agents do not have access to sell their products. Buying life insurance from State Farm will require you request a quote on their website or contact a local agent. Read more in our State Farm review.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age
    89 Years

About Allstate

Allstate offers term life insurance directly on their website with the option to apply online or with an agent. While you can apply online, the decision on the application is not instant. Allstate helps protect you from mayhem, but many consumers wonder if the company that is best known for home and auto insurance is good enough to cover your life insurance needs? Founded in 1931 by Sears founder, Robert Wood, when he was approached by his neighbor with an idea to sell auto insurance, Allstate has opened up many product lines, including life insurance. It is in fact one of the most popular insurance brands in business today. There are no discounts when it comes to life insurance if you decide to bundle your policies; however, if Allstate is your current provider for home and auto insurance, it's likely you may end up with savings there.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    201-500
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    113 Years

About SBLI

SBLI has been around since 1907. In July of 2017, SBLI changed their company structure to a mutual. This means that SBLI is now owned by its policyholders. SBLI offers competitively-priced term and whole life insurance products. Their most popular feature is their “hassle-free” underwriting process for those between ages 18 and 60. You can apply by phone or submit an application online. Either way, you can purchase up to $500,000 without a medical exam and receive your decision within one week.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    C-
  • Company Age
    152 Years

About Metlife

MetLife offers life insurance through Brighthouse Financial. Brighthouse has recently introduced their simple underwriting program, which speeds up the underwriting time and allows some applicants to avoid an exam. A major pro to working with Brighthouse is that applications can be completed entirely online. If you are over the age of 66, you will be required to complete a screening phone call. Decisions are made within 24 hours of receiving the electronic application. The only drawback is that you can only access their products through an employer-sponsored plan. See our review of Metlife.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    24-48 Hours
  • Company Size
    51-100
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    124 Years

About Fidelity

In addition to term life insurance, Fidelity life insurance offers one of the most competitive final expense products on the market. Their rapid decision senior whole life plan is designed for Americans between the ages of 50 and 85. The plan offers between $5,000 and $35,000 of coverage should you meet their underwriting requirements. Fidelity is known for its quick underwriting times. They are able to reach decisions within 24 to 48 hours after a life insurance application is submitted. Rarely does Fidelity require any additional information.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    43 Years

About Primerica

Primerica offers life insurance through its agents that operate on behalf of the company. To locate an agent near you visit http://www.primerica.com/public/locations.html. See our complete Primerica review here.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    24-48 Hours
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A
  • Company Age
    146 Years

About Foresters

Foresters is a fraternal benefit society based in Toronto, Canada. They offer life insurance coverage throughout the United States. Their most popular life insurance product is called “Your Term” and can be easily purchased over the phone. They offer whole and universal life insurance and have become a popular choice among buyers due to their accelerated underwriting program.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Term
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    Instant
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age

About Ladder Life

Ladder is an insurance technology startup offering term insurance up to $3,000,000 that can be purchased entirely online. Backed by Fidelity Security Life, a life insurance company that's more than 50 years old, Ladder provides an easy-to-use online interface for people between the ages of 20 and 60 years old looking to buy life insurance on the internet. Ladder is different than other life insurance start ups in that they allow their policyholders the ability to change coverage amounts during their policy. Read our full review on Ladder Life.

Covid-19 Update: Ladder Life has halted medical exams in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Vermont. If you are a resident of one of these states and you apply for life insurance with Ladder, you will not be able to obtain coverage if their underwriting determines your application to need an exam.

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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    501-1000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    57 Years

About William Penn

William Penn is owned by Legal & General, and is the life insurance company they use to serve the New York market.
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Get your rate
  • Type of coverage
    Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    201-500
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age
    52 Years

About Colonial Penn

Burial life insurance plans from Colonial Penn are in high demand. Colonial Penn offers final expense life insurance plans that can be purchased online. Founded by AARP founder, Leonard Davis, Colonial Penn is currently a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group. They offer final expense coverage up to age 85. Read full Colonial Penn review.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A++
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    5001-10000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    160 Years

About Guardian

Guardian life insurance is one of only four insurance providers that share the highest financial ratings offered by all third party credit issuing agencies including A.M. Best, Moody’s, Fitch and S&P. Guardian offers term, whole and universal coverage. Guardian offers life insurance through their network of exclusive insurance agents. With that being said, if you are looking to compare quotes from multiple companies, Guardian is not the best fit. While they are committed to making advancements in technology and product offerings, for the time being, buying a policy from Guardian will require a face-to-face meeting with an agent. They are widely known for their permanent insurance products. If you’re in the market for cash value life insurance and are comparing the top-rated mutual companies, Guardian should be on your list.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    5001-10000
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age
    92 Years

About Transamerica

Founded in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1919, Transamerica specializes in insurance and investing. Known for their wide array of life insurance and retirement products, Transamerica is a household name. Transamerica was acquired by Aegon Group in 1999. Aegon is a leading provider of life insurance, pensions, and asset management. Aegon has over 25,000 employees and 29 million customers worldwide.

Transamerica Life Insurance Companby holds an A "Excellent" rating from A.M. Best, which is a very strong rating. However, it was recently downgraded from A+ (Superior). Transamerica has over $130 billion in assets and a surplus of $7.8 billion. Their product offering allows consumers to find a competitive rate on a policy that meets their needs. See our full Transamerica review for more.

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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    Instant
  • Company Size
    201-500
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    51 Years

About AAA

AAA is a well-known brand that has a full array of life insurance products available. Their ExpressTerm Life policy allows consumers to apply for coverage online, but the decision isn't always instant. If you need the guidance of a licensed agent, AAA also offers in-person consultations for traditional term and permanent insurance. Read our full AAA life insurance review.

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  • Type of coverage
    Term
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    Instant
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age
    4 Years

About Bestow

Bestow offers life insurance through North American. Bestow serves as a direct to consumer option for consumers who are interested in buying life insurance on the internet.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    2-4 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age

About Principal

Principal is a global financial services business with over 600 billion dollars in assets. They are a stock-based company that specializes in term and universal life insurance products. Most popular is their accelerated underwriting platform that offers $1,000,000 in coverage up to age 60 for applicants who meet their eligibility criteria. If you're looking for one of the oldest stock-based life insurance companies with a superior financial rating and offering convenient, accelerated underwriting, you can put Principal at the top of your list. See our full review of Principal here.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    114 Years

About Midland National

One of two major life insurance companies operated by Sammons Financial Group, Midland National serves as the company's exclusive agency network. Agents that sell Midland National products are captive agents, meaning they only sell one company’s product. Sammons Financial Group has a superior financial rating and is uniquely positioned as a privately owned insurance company. Established by Charles Sammons in 1938, Sammons Financial Group is a holding company with a diversified portfolio of more than 85 billion dollars in assets.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    172 Years

About National Life Group

National Life Group offers competitive universal life insurance. Their focus is on families, small business owners, and small-to-medium size employers. Almost 200 years old, National Life Group was founded in 1848. They are most popular for their indexed and variable universal life insurance.
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  • Type of coverage
    Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    201-500
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    64 Years

About National Western

Founded in Austin Texas in 1956, National Western is one of the only insurance companies offering products to foreign nationals. They offer indexed universal life insurance with simplified underwriting as well as some annuity products. They are rated A with AM Best.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    Instant
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    94 Years

About Nationwide

Offering everything from term, whole, universal and variable life insurance policies, Nationwide has a large portfolio of life insurance products available. While many people work with NationWide for their home and auto insurance, few people know about their life insurance options, but they should not be overlooked when shopping for life insurance products. In fact, they can beat nearly any company when it comes to mortgage protection insurance.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    Instant
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    3 Years

About Ethos

Ethos prides themselves on convenience and is a top choice for those interested in securing a term life insurance policy online.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    501-1000
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    53 Years

About Gerber

Gerber is popularly known for their Gerber Grow Up Plan which allows parents and grandparents to buy whole life insurance coverage for their children and grandchildren. Gerber’s product is one of the most popular forms of coverage for children because the policy guarantees the insured the right to buy more coverage as they become older, regardless of any change in circumstance. This means if the health of the child changes for the worse, over time, the insured could add additional coverage to the policy.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A+
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    69 Years

About Globe

Globe life insurance sells life insurance directly online and is most popular for their plans for seniors and children. Globe was founded in 1951 and has the second highest financial rating given by A.M. Best. Globe has introduced an inflation benefit that increases a customer’s death benefit over time in order to stay current with the effects of inflation. Read our full Globe Life review.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    1001-5000
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    N/A
  • Company Age
    115 Years

About American National

American National, also referred to as ANICO, holds the third-highest financial rating given of “A Excellent” by A.M. Best. They focus on property and casualty, life insurance, and financial products. American National is available through independent life insurance agents contracted to sell their products. You can also buy life insurance online directly from American National by visiting ANICO Direct. Read our full American National review.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense, Preneed
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    201-500
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    138 Years

About Columbian Life

Colombian Life is a mutual-based company located in Binghamton, New York. Their product offering is popular among senior citizens looking for pre-need coverage. In addition to their final expense portfolio, they offer term and universal coverage.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal, Accidental Death
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10,000+
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    92 Years

About Farmers

Farmers Life began their operation in 1954. Their term and permanent life insurance offerings compliment their portfolio of property and casualty insurance products. Farmers is a subsidiary of Zurich, one of the world’s largest insurance companies.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    4-6 Weeks
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    B+
  • Company Age
    37 Years

About Great Western

Great Western offers preneed and burial insurance plans for senior citizens throughout the country. Rated (A-) by A.M. Best, Great Western is a subsidiary of American Enterprise Group. The group has amassed 2.4 billion dollars in assets since 1984. Great Western is taking precautions to protect their customers and employees during COVID-19. Read more from President Tom Swank about measures being taken by the company.
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  • Type of coverage
    Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    51-100
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    78 Years
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, GUL
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    2-10
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    15 Years

About American Continental

American Continental offers Term and Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance products. They are more recently established than their competitors, opening in 2005 in Brentwood Tennessee. However young the company may be, nonetheless their products caught the eye of health insurance powerhouse Aetna, and they were acquired by the company in 2011. Since then they have offered products featuring both simplified and accelerated forms of underwriting.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    201-500
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    B-
  • Company Age
    74 Years

About Americo

Americo is a life insurance and retirement company founded in 1946. They are known as the first life insurance company to introduce an accelerated death benefit rider to their life insurance policies. This rider can now be added to nearly every Americo life insurance policy for an additional cost and will pay a portion of the death benefit to the insured if he or she is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    51-200
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    10000+
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A
  • Company Age
    73 Years

About 5 Star

The 5 Star Life Insurance Company is a member of the Armed Forces Benefit Association. Founded in 1947, 5 Star’s business model is catered to military families, providing them with sound life insurance coverage. Since their inception, 5 Star has expanded their availability to firefighters and law enforcement. Their plans are created for groups or worksite employees.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Universal
  • Financial Strength
    A-
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    201-500
  • Average Complaints
    Below Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    130 Years

About Assurity

Assurity is a mutual-based insurance company, which means they are owned by their policyholders. They specialize in life and disability insurance products. With over 2 billion in assets under management, Assurity has become known for their simplified processes when it comes to buying insurance. They offer term, whole and universal life insurance as well as critical illness and disability insurance.
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  • Type of coverage
    Term, Whole, Final Expense
  • Financial Strength
    A
  • Underwriting Time
    1-2 Weeks
  • Company Size
    2-50
  • Average Complaints
    Above Average
  • BBB Rating
    A+
  • Company Age
    110 Years

About American Amicable

American Amicable or Occidental is over 100 years old and offers a variety of products. Their most popular options include final expense policies that are available for applicants up to age 85. Additionally, they offer a simplified issue life insurance policy with a death benefit amount of $250,000 that does not require a medical exam. These types of policies are popular in such times as a Pandemic, but also appeal to consumers who prefer to conduct business over the phone as opposed to meeting with an agent in person.
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Our Rating Methodology

Our rating formula relies on financial data, product offering, underwriting time, history, and consumer complaints. We update our data in the 4th quarter of each year when new financial reports are released. Financial strength is a key component of our ratings, as it is the most important factor to consider when choosing a life insurance company. We put in many ours of analysis to have our list of the top 10 life insurance companies be free from bias.

Types of Coverage

There are two main types of life insurance you can buy. The most popular choice is term life insurance, which gives you coverage for a set number of years. The other type is permanent life insurance, also called whole life, which provides coverage for your entire life as long as premiums are paid.

In terms of value, term life insurance is hard to beat. The monthly premiums are low and the coverage amounts are high. Whole life is much more expensive, but has other features that term lacks, such as the cash value component. To learn more about the difference between term and whole life, see our article on term vs whole life insurance.

Financial Strength

life insurance companies asset chart

When buying an insurance product that may be needed 20+ years from now, you want to be certain that the company will be able to pay the claim. To address this very concern, there are many 3rd party rating agencies that grade the financial strength of insurance companies. There are several that you will see reporting grades for insurance companies: 

  • AM Best
  • Moody’s
  • Standard & Poors
  • Fitch

Each rating agency has a different way of assessing and reporting the financial strength of an insurance company. Generally, the companies are rated like a report card. You’ll see that the high ratings are A’s and the low ratings are B or C. We advise shoppers to choose a company with high financial ratings. The reasoning behind this is simple, life insurance is meant to be a safety net for your family. The net is only as strong as the insurance company’s ability to pay its claims.

The rating agencies determine their ratings by analyzing data like: 

  • Annual amount of premiums collected
  • Annual amount of claims paid
  • Total reserves and assets
  • Cash flow
  • Return on investments
  • Potential risks in the short-term and long-term.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a company that has the letter “A” in its ratings and avoid the companies that do not.

Underwriting Time

Underwriting is the process of the insurance company processing your application and issuing a decision. Underwriting time can vary widely from company to company and even from product to product. We are living in a time where technology is making life insurance easier to purchase, and one of the areas to recently improve in life insurance is underwriting time.

The standard process of buying life insurance takes 4-6 weeks. This is how long it takes from start to finish. You submit your application, the health exam is scheduled, and then you take the exam and wait for a decision.

Many companies now offer accelerated underwriting, which means that certain applicants can breeze through the process without needing to take an exam. Some companies offer products that do not require the exam at all. This is referred to as simplified issue life insurance. These policies generally get issued in under a week. This is possible because the insurance company can look at digital records such as your prescription report, driving record, and MIB record.

One important thing to keep in mind when applying for life insurance that advertises an instant decision is what happens if you get declined. The instant issue policies have very strict requirements, and they are quick to decline an applicant. When you go to apply for a different policy, you now have to disclose that you applied somewhere else and were declined. This can affect their decision on your application.

Company Size

The size of the life insurance company can tell you a few things about the organization. A company with 10,000+ employees likely has a very high financial rating, offers many products, and is a stable choice. However, some people do not like dealing with large companies when it comes to customer service. You could end up with long hold times and a lack of personal service. You may like working with a financially strong, specialty life insurance company with just a few hundred employees.

Company Age

Why should the age of a life insurance company matter to you? The average lifespan of a male and female in the US is around 80. If you bought life insurance in your forties, it's important to know the company you are putting your business with has a positive financial outlook and will have the ability to pay claims years down the road. 

We factor in age as part of our criteria. After all, if a company has made it through the great depression, ww1,ww2, and the great recession, all while being able to make good on their commitment to their policyholders, we think that's worth something. 

It should come as no surprise that companies that are the oldest often have more assets under management. The assets each life insurance company accumulates over the course of its time in business serve as a shield of financial strength and backing for its policyholders. A mature insurance company with a diverse portfolio is a key indicator that a company is well positioned to be in business for years to come.

State Availability

Each state in the US has its own department of insurance, and each company has to maintain a license in an individual state. Because of this, some companies do not sell their insurance products in certain states. To save time, be sure to select your state in the filter to make sure you don’t choose a company that isn’t available to you.

You are not required to work with an agent or company in your state. Many people seem to think they need to find a life insurance company near them in order to buy. Life insurance can be bought online and over the phone without needing to find a local agent. Of course, you are welcome to work with a local agent should you prefer to do so.

Ways to Buy

Online

Even the century old life insurance industry has caught on to the fact the consumer expectations are changing. 98% of consumers say they would use the internet to research a product before buying. If you are one of that group that seeks a user friendly buying process we have you covered. 

Phone

While most prefer to research online, we have found that some consumers still desire the assistance of a licensed agent. With the amount of information life insurance companies require, it can feel assuring to hear a voice on the other line prior to submitting your information. 

In Person - Agent

Whether you buy online, via phone, or in person, you are always buying from a licensed life insurance agent. How you go about purchasing, receiving customer support, and maintaining your life insurance policy is your choice. If you choose to buy from a local life insurance agent that's in your network, we can help point you in the right direction. 

Customer Complaints

When looking at complaints on a company, you have to take this data with a grain of salt. Most complaints stem from billing errors and customer service. It is rare that a life insurance company does not pay a claim. When conducting research, we analyzed the annual reports of over 50 companies. We looked at the percentage of claims that were contested and why they were contested. Overall we found it to be a very small percentage, and the most common reason claims are contested is material misrepresentation. Material misrepresentation is a fancy term for lying on the application. If you are looking for the best life insurance company that will pay out, just be sure to answer the questions on the application truthfully, and select a company with strong financial ratings.

A good place to look at reviews of a life insurance company is the Better Business Bureau. However, remember that the BBB is a complaint board. It is easy to get a feeling that a company is bad by looking at their BBB page and seeing hundreds of complaints. Remember to consider how many customers an insurance company can have, and that 100 complaints may actually be a very small fraction of their total customers.

Another good place to start is the NAIC. They have a public facing tool that allows you to look up complaint data on insurance companies. However, the reason for these complaints can be about marketing & sales and have nothing to do with customer service or paying claims.

Price

As a budget-minded shopper, price is always going to play a role in any purchase decision. We see life insurance shoppers looking for the cheapest prices every day. Before you go jumping on the lowest price you see, there are a few key things to consider. 

  • The best life insurance company is the one with the highest rating that will underwrite you favorably. This means the best financial ratings and the best price given your current health.

Every insurance company has different rules for how they price policies. For example, if you are in the 50% of Americans that have used at least one prescription drug in the last 30 days, your price can vary from company to company. If you are overweight, you will also see that your price can vary from company to company. These are quick examples, but you can imagine how complex it can get when you are factoring in your health history, medications, and family history.

Some life insurance companies quote people low rates, and once the underwriting is complete they determine they do not qualify for the initial rates. The industry refers to this as a “bait and switch”. This is something to keep in mind when you see a life insurance rate that is much lower than the other quotes.

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